Young artists flock to Ridgewood
by John Lars Zwerenz
May 01, 2013 | 5340 views | 0 0 comments | 172 172 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Loie Hollowell
Loie Hollowell
slideshow
Brian and Teresa Derdiarian, owners of Teresa's Gallery
Brian and Teresa Derdiarian, owners of Teresa's Gallery
slideshow
A group of young artists assembled on Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood on Friday night their work and new ideas with a vibrant and raw enthusiasm.

Fred Valentine, owner of Valentine Gallery at 464 Seneca Avenue, featured the work of two young women, Amy Lincoln and Loie Hollowell.

Lincoln, a post-modern impressionist painter, moved to Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood in 2006 from Philadelphia after growing up in a suburb of Portland, Oregon.

Her paintings on exhibit, like Hollowell’s, were of ethereal, surreal landscapes.

Lincoln paints “Alice In Wonderland-like scenes,” Hollowell said, and makes use of bold, differentiated color contrasts in her work as an aesthetic effect.

Hollowell, a resident of Sunnyside, came to New York after completing her Master of Fine Arts Degree at Virginia’s Commonwealth University a year ago. A surrealist painter, she paints finely detailed landscapes featuring cacti that, in her words, are supposed to represent “a kind of female sexuality which is beautiful but dangerous to the touch.”

“Ridgewood is the place to go if you’re a good artist and you want your art exhibited,” Valentine said. “Manhattan’s Chelsea District, once the hot bed of these kinds of shows, now only hosts a show very rarely.”

Rental prices for art purposes are much lower in Ridgewood than in places like Chelsea or Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Also, the diversity of the art on exhibit in Ridgewood has a cosmopolitan feel, and this avant-garde element seems to be attracting a considerable amount of mainstream public focus.

Teresa’s Gallery, located on the same block as Valentine, opened its doors to the public for the first time on Friday night.

Run by the young and erudite Brian and Teresa Derdiarian, the gallery displayed a wide collection of art and artists, and not just paintings. Among the many framed items of interest were prints of Quayson Pierce’s famous Americana-oriented advertisements from Life Magazine including the “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby” Virginia Slims ad from 1968.

Also featured at this smaller-yet-chic gallery, among tambourines and art books, were watercolors from local artists Natale Kiefer and Max Dunlop, depicting the abject poverty of The Great Depression.

Among the many other artists who attended these events was Todd Bienvenu, an expressionist painter who likes to portray the after-hours Brooklyn scene with an unapologetic highlight on debauchery.

Dax van Aalten, an existentialist painter from the Bushwick area, paints ghostly, Picasso-like fertility figures.

“Ridgewood, Queens, is rapidly becoming what Greenwich Village used to be in the 60’s,” one young artist said.

Mr. Derdiarian agreed. “The Ridgewood momentum is definitely growing,” he said.

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